Bank of England governor Mark Carney's "productivity puzzle" was back with a bang this morning, after figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed labour productivity fell 0.3 per cent on the year before during the second quarter.
Carney has previously said productivity is one of the Bank's biggest concerns. While indicators such as unemployment have suggested economic recovery is strong, output has remained stubbornly low - in fact, according to a quarterly bulletin published in June, it remains 16 per cent below pre-crisis levels. In June, Carney confessed the Bank has no idea why it remains so low.
On a quarterly basis. output remained unchanged, although it fell 0.1 per cent in the services sector and grew 0.7 per cent in production.
The ONS added that changes to the way it measures economic output "have significantly revised the productivity record prior to the downturn, and especially over 2008-12" - but they do nothing to solve the productivity puzzle.